WhatsApp Going Entirely Free After Dropping Subscription Fees

whatsapp.pngPopular real-time messaging app WhatsApp today announced that it will no longer be charging customers subscription fees after their first free year with the service. The company noted that the approach of giving users a free year with the app and then removing its features "hasn't worked well," since some customers didn't have credit or debit cards they could use to continue the service, potentially losing contact with friends and family after being blocked behind a paywall.
That's why we're happy to announce that WhatsApp will no longer charge subscription fees. For many years, we've asked some people to pay a fee for using WhatsApp after their first year. As we've grown, we've found that this approach hasn't worked well.

Many WhatsApp users don't have a debit or credit card number and they worried they'd lose access to their friends and family after their first year. So over the next several weeks, we'll remove fees from the different versions of our app and WhatsApp will no longer charge you for our service.
WhatsApp confirmed that the messaging service is switching to a custom monetization model that still won't center around third-party advertisements. Starting this year, the company will begin testing tools that let users interact with businesses that they care about, which "could mean communicating with your bank about whether a recent transaction was fraudulent, or with an airline about a delayed flight."

Plans for the new non-subscription service will begin to rollout "over the next several weeks" to each platform that WhatsApp is available on. Users that have yet to download WhatsApp Messenger can do so from the App Store for free. [Direct Link]



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24 weeks ago
Because your personal data is worth more, join us for free! -WhatsApp
Rating: 24 Votes
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24 weeks ago
When something is free, you're not the client—you are the product.
Rating: 18 Votes
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24 weeks ago
Makes sense. They were bought out by Facebook, and this is the kind of monetization that they're good at.
Rating: 7 Votes
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24 weeks ago

I had "lifetime service" anyway :p

haha same! To be honest I use iMessage over Whatsapp anyways
Rating: 7 Votes
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24 weeks ago
All this will do is teach our kids that apps and services should be free. It's happening with the Chromebook in schools. Hopefully they figure out that its their personal information that's being sold and that's worth much more than the dollar a month they'd have to pay to use the service.
Rating: 6 Votes
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24 weeks ago
I hope they also focus more on their web app and maybe allow messaging from iPad and Apple Watch...
Rating: 6 Votes
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24 weeks ago
I don't think I ever paid originally and fairly sure I haven't paid since? How did that happen?
Rating: 5 Votes
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24 weeks ago

All this will do is teach our kids that apps and services should be free. It's happening with the Chromebook in schools. Hopefully they figure out that its their personal information that's being sold and that's worth much more than the dollar a month they'd have to pay to use the service.

Are you using "personal information being sold" as a euphemism for anonymous aggregated data being used to sell targeted ad space? If not, who exactly are these companies that sell your personal information? Please don't say who I think you mean, because those companies (including Whatsapp) don't sell any of your personal information.

As for the accusation of it happening with Chromebooks in school, yeah that's wrong as well. The accusation by the EFF was refuted by the Future of Privacy Forum and The Software and Information Industry Association (two co-authors of the Student Privacy Pledge).
Rating: 5 Votes
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24 weeks ago
I had "lifetime service" anyway :P
Rating: 4 Votes
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24 weeks ago

haha same! To be honest I use iMessage over Whatsapp anyways


Yeah. iPhone to iPhone I use iMessage and those who have the "other kind" I've always used Facebook Messenger. I don't see what's so good about WhatsApp.
Rating: 2 Votes
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